How a former skinhead came around to befriending his black parole officer.

The first racist tattoo Michael Kent got were the words "white pride," spanning the top of his back.

GIF via ABC News.

Then came the two swastikas — one in the center of his chest — that stained his skin for over 20 years, ABC News reported.


Kent used to be a white supremacist.

"I was part of a skinhead group," Kent, who lives in Colorado, told ABC. "A very violent group."

He believed strongly in the organization's ideals. For instance, Kent refused to work for anybody — or even with anybody — who wasn't white.

GIF via ABC News.

But one woman made him rethink everything.

Tiffany Whittier, who is black, became his parole officer. Meeting her changed his life for good.

GIF via ABC News.

She was a positive force in his life and challenged him to rethink how he viewed race and equality.

"I had a German war [Nazi] flag, and she said, 'You need to take that crap down and start putting up more positive stuff!'" Kent told ABC News. "'Put up smiley faces so when you wake up, you see positive instead of hate.'"

Her encouragement worked; Kent's outlook and attitudes have changed dramatically since befriending Whittier.

It's not necessarily surprising, either — this change in mindset goes hand-in-hand with research. A 2014 study, for example, found that when white people interact with more people of color, they're less likely to hold racist views.

"If it wasn't for her, I probably would have been seeped back into [white supremacy]," Kent explained. "I look at her as family."

Now, Kent's "white pride" and swastika tattoos have been removed by Redemption Ink, a nonprofit that offers free removals of hate-inspired designs to patrons. All of his coworkers at the Colorado chicken farm where he works — as well as most of his friends — are people of color.

“We have company parties, or they have quinceaneras, BBQs, or birthday parties — I’m the only white guy there," Kent said.

GIF via ABC News.

Whittier modestly brushed off the affect she's had on Kent: "My job is to be that positive person in someone's life," she said. "[I] try to make a difference."

But to Kent — a father to two young children — Whittier's nothing short of heroic. "She gave me the strength and the courage to do what I'm doing," he said. "She gave me a chance, and it opened my eyes."

ABC News facilitated a surprise reunion between the two, who hadn't seen each other in over a year.

Whittier was in on the plan, but Kent — who seemed a bit lost for words as he embraced her in a hug — was beyond excited to see the friend who changed his life forever.

Watch the beautiful moment in the video below:

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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